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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"


Education, he went on to say, was necessary to secure " public
administration, to sustain the Church unharmed, and to main-
tain humanity among men/' In this spirit he made ample pro-
vision for the study of the vernacular and of practical arithmetic,
and insisted on a thorough grounding in grammar.

Not long after these words were written, Calvin was banished
from Geneva, and it seemed as if his work there were at an end.
But his banishment was really a blessing in disguise so far as his
educational plans were concerned. From 1538 to 1541 he was
busy building up a congregation of French-speaking Protestants
in Strassburg and teaching theology to the older pupils in Sturm's
school. From his association with Sturm he not only learned
a great deal about school organization, but acquired some idea
of the limited capacities of children, such as he had obviously
not possessed when he drew up his Catechism for juvenile
instruction in 1537. The result was evident in the Ecclesiastical
Ordinances he prepared in 1541, when recalled from banishment
and given a new status as chief minister of the Genevan Church.
In these Ordinances it was expressly laid down that a college,
in which the children could learn " the languages and the secular
sciences " as a preparation for the ministry and for civil offices,
was necessary for the well-being of the Church and of the com-
munity as a whole. At the head of this college was to be ** a
man of learning and experience," and under him there were to
be " readers>J to give higher instruction, and " bachelors " to teach
the younger children. The teacher was to rank as an officer of
the Church and to be subject to ecclesiastical discipline like the
ministers. In the same year he revised the Catechism of 1537,
and though it was still too long and too difficult for the immature
people for whom it was intended, it was much nearer the level of
children than its predecessor.

In consequence of constant troubles within the city, the college
failed to come up to Calvin's expectations and remained in an
undeveloped state for many years. But the hope of realizing
his scheme was never absent from his thoughts, and fifteen
years later the opportunity for a fresh attempt came. In 1556
he revisited Sturm's school and he returned home with^ fresh
plans for his own school. These he embodied in an ordinance
which he entitled Leges Academic Geneoensis (1559). In these
there reappeared all the familiar features of the Strassburg